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  1. #1
    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    Problem with my Rocky Mountain Sherpa 30

    I have been using my Sherpa 30 as my commuter and on the way home today I heard a "tick tick tick" as I was riding. I couldn't figure it out and as I was pushing a serious headwind I just thought I would ride home and figure it out later.
    20km later I'm home and after supper I put the bike on the work stand to figure this out.
    My bike has less than 600km and is 4 months old.
    When I start rotating the crank it needs some serious force to get past a particular point.
    One of the chain ring bolts on the smallest sprocket has backed out.
    This bolt has been tearing away at the chainstay near the BB. It looks awful and there is metal missing in the divot it created.
    Will this weaken my Reynolds 853 frame?
    I'm totally pissed about this and I think Rocky should replace the frame set under warranty.
    I will go to my LBS on Monday and see what they think.

  2. #2
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    Sorry to hear about your problem. I really don't think you'll have a problem with a warranty issue with Rocky Mountain. I don't have any experience with a warranty issue but I have had questions about my RMS 30 and They bent over backwards for me. Hope everything works out. Let me know how it goes. I'm sure you know it but in case you don't, the frame has a lifetime guarantee.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiverShark View Post
    Sorry to hear about your problem. I really don't think you'll have a problem with a warranty issue with Rocky Mountain. I don't have any experience with a warranty issue but I have had questions about my RMS 30 and They bent over backwards for me. Hope everything works out. Let me know how it goes. I'm sure you know it but in case you don't, the frame has a lifetime guarantee.
    But the frame wasn't defective.
    The crankset has wrecked the frame.

  4. #4
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    I still think they'll back that up. I think they stand behind their product 100% of the time. Unfortunately this is gonna take some time for the LBS to verify and relay problem to Rocky Mountain. Patience will be a virtue. Hope you can get this resolved ASAP. I'd be bumming out but I think you have another bike to commute with. I hope so for your sake.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiverShark View Post
    I still think they'll back that up. I think they stand behind their product 100% of the time. Unfortunately this is gonna take some time for the LBS to verify and relay problem to Rocky Mountain. Patience will be a virtue. Hope you can get this resolved ASAP. I'd be bumming out but I think you have another bike to commute with. I hope so for your sake.
    Check your ring bolts!

  6. #6
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    I just did. I don't seem to have any loose bolts but I don't have as many miles on my bike as you do. I just turned a rough(for me) 200 miles last week. My commute is up and down hills for 4 miles the longest being about a mile long with an altitude peak of about 450 feet and a drop to 35 feet each way(8 miles) and it's been a very soggy Spring. However I will keep an eye out for loose bolts from here on in.

    Good Luck! I would point out to the LBS that those bolts shouldn't come loose after 4 months. And I'm not sure you've been commuting for that long. But do it gently. You can catch more Bees with honey than vinegar.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiverShark View Post
    I just did. I don't seem to have any loose bolts but I don't have as many miles on my bike as you do. I just turned a rough(for me) 200 miles last week. My commute is up and down hills for 4 miles the longest being about a mile long with an altitude peak of about 450 feet and a drop to 35 feet each way(8 miles) and it's been a very soggy Spring. However I will keep an eye out for loose bolts from here on in.

    Good Luck! I would point out to the LBS that those bolts shouldn't come loose after 4 months. And I'm not sure you've been commuting for that long. But do it gently. You can catch more Bees with honey than vinegar.


    Yes, I am and will be very diplomatic. But this is a premium bike and I expect premium quality. Since you probably paid even more than I did (being in the U.S) you would expect the same. Actually, anything in this price range should be assembled with care.
    I have only been riding it for a little over a month. I have never had chain ring bolts come loose on any new bike I've ever owned, or any I've built.
    I have 3 other touring bikes that I could press into service but I'm hoping the "exchange" could be done with little downtime.
    We shall see.

  8. #8
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    Any updates to the bike situation?

  9. #9
    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    Took it in to the LBS. He took some pics and emailed Rocky.
    No response yet but he did mention they just might tell me to ride it until there is a problem (breakage).
    But I would rather have the frame replaced as it is already rusting in that spot.
    Its kind of like having a new car with accident damage. It might not affect it or it may later down the road.

  10. #10
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    not to be a jerk, but why should rocky mountain replace a frame because of poor maintenance and user error? If you are commuting on the bike, don't you check the tightness of bolts, cables etc. on a semi-regular basis? If you felt a problem while riding, why didn't you stop to locate the source of the problem before wearing the metal off your frame? Reynolds 853 isn't exactly soft stuff, it would take some noticeable effort to wear into the steel, maybe thats what you thought was headwind...

    paint the steel so it doesn't continue to rust, and hope that R.M. will let you pass the buck to them. They are a good company, good luck.

  11. #11
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I'm with positron on this one. the price of the bike doesn't negate poor user maintenance, safety checks and user error.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    I've been umming and arrhhing about your post. And of course, since this is a message board, I can of course post my opinion which I'm sure probably isn't legally correct, right or accurate, but hey, it's a board and you know what they say about opinions, so here goes:

    First, I hope you get it sorted out. Secondly, I can see two sides here:

    I assume you bought this bike from your LBS? If this is the case:

    1. the LBS should be providing you with a bike that is in reasonable riding condition (i.e. chainring bolts should be appropriately tightened) with the expectation it should stay in a reasonable and expected riding condition for an acceptable time.
    2. admittedly, an LBS might not be able to check everything at a practical level, as there is some pre-assembly done at the factory (worked in an LBS)
    3. but you were supplied the bike by the LBS -which took a chunk of the price for a profit -from the original manufacturer.

    If you'd bought the bike online, I can see how it is the customer's prerogative to check it over; but if you buy from an LBS I think the LBS is effectively charging extra not only to make a profit but also because -at least to me -there's an implicit understanding that they should be appropriately preparing and standing behind the products they sell, and should put you right (otherwise, why buy from them?). I think you should be pushing your LBS to make it good for you immediately -they then should be pushing Rocky Mountain to make it good to them (assuming if they had nothing to do with chainring installation or were not expected to check the torque of the chainring bolts). The LBS acted as a middle man quite happily taking a piece of the pie, now they should take care of you -that should be part of the price of that little bit of pie.

    But then..... you say you noticed a tick tick tick noise. I can't help but ask "Should you have stopped immediately to determine what the noise was?" For example, if you are driving a car, even a new one off the lot and the warning light goes on, do you continue to drive? I know, I know it's not a perfect analogy, but it does ask the question of if you had, would you have noticed the issue and prevented anything more than a little scratch that a little bit of cover up paint could have solved? I don't know.

    Personally, I think you should get a new frame (the problem really was due to faulty installation, not due to you not checking it -for example, if you had a noisy commute home, you might never have heard it anyway, and is a tick tick tick noise reasonable grounds to stop and check a bike anyway?). So, with that in mind, and don't take this the wrong way, but I can't imagine Rocky Mountain would want to say just ride it until there is a problem -sounds like the LBS is wanting to shift responsibility (unless of course they suspect the chainrings were replaced by someone else after sale).

    Assuming you've described things accurately, I think you shouldn't take no for an answer and be very firm with the LBS setting out your expectations of a new frame, and why (I'm not, by the way, saying the blame lies with the LBS, merely that the LBS should put it right immediately with the customer and they should be the ones to seek recompense with Rocky Mountain for supplying them with a faulty bit of product, rather than the customer). Good luck, and I hope you are successful.


    Quote Originally Posted by ricohman View Post
    Took it in to the LBS. He took some pics and emailed Rocky.
    No response yet but he did mention they just might tell me to ride it until there is a problem (breakage).
    But I would rather have the frame replaced as it is already rusting in that spot.
    Its kind of like having a new car with accident damage. It might not affect it or it may later down the road.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    Seriously, do you check your chain ring bolts every 400 miles? I'll be the first to admit I don't. And user error is a harsh call, do you also stop your bike and look it over whenever you hear any noise? (that's not to say you shouldn't, but I think I'm asking whether it's a reasonable thing to do).

    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    I'm with positron on this one. the price of the bike doesn't negate poor user maintenance, safety checks and user error.

  14. #14
    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by positron View Post
    not to be a jerk, but why should rocky mountain replace a frame because of poor maintenance and user error? If you are commuting on the bike, don't you check the tightness of bolts, cables etc. on a semi-regular basis? If you felt a problem while riding, why didn't you stop to locate the source of the problem before wearing the metal off your frame? Reynolds 853 isn't exactly soft stuff, it would take some noticeable effort to wear into the steel, maybe thats what you thought was headwind...

    paint the steel so it doesn't continue to rust, and hope that R.M. will let you pass the buck to them. They are a good company, good luck.
    This bike had 550km at the time and is NEW. The ticking noise (I thought) was the chain hitting the front derailleur. I even pushed on the front DR as I thought it may need adjustment.
    One bolt was not tightened properly.
    Rocky has a one year warranty on the bike.
    I build touring bikes, wheels and all, so yeah I am well aware of maintaining my ride.
    And I clean and lube the chain every week. I also clean chainrings weekly.
    And no, I don't check the chain ring bolts every 60 miles like you.
    Last edited by ricohman; 06-14-08 at 07:34 AM.

  15. #15
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    As a full time commuter, former messenger, and general carfree guy I have had too many bike parts fail (because of my negligence), leaving me stranded or without the ability to work. This has taught me to meticulously maintain my bike, not to ignore problem signs, and to carry a full tool kit with me nearly everywhere.

    I do not mean to be harsh, but if a chainring bolt is rubbing the metal off of a stay, its not just a noise, it is a mechanical interaction that surely was felt... in the OP's own words: "When I start rotating the crank it needs some serious force to get past a particular point." um, red flag! Stop the bike and repair - it would have taken 20 seconds with an allen wrench, and would have prevented all damage to the frame.

    things come loose with time. If one acknowledges this fact and prepares for it, then many headaches will be prevented before they spiral into the situations that ruin your new bike, your tour or a day's work.

    I honestly do not intend to be a jerk, and I hope rocky mountain will help you out. I have owned two of their frames, and they are a solid company. But I have issues with any sense of entitlement that you may feel you have, and that is why I spoke up in this post. It is people taking advantage of great return policies, generous companies, and warranty situations that lead to the loss of these great companies' profits and an erosion of consumer securities overall.

    Quote Originally Posted by ricohman View Post
    And no, I don't check the chain ring bolts every 60 miles like you.
    well, perhaps you should?

    regards,
    positron

  16. #16
    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by positron View Post
    As a full time commuter, former messenger, and general carfree guy I have had too many bike parts fail (because of my negligence), leaving me stranded or without the ability to work. This has taught me to meticulously maintain my bike, not to ignore problem signs, and to carry a full tool kit with me nearly everywhere.

    I do not mean to be harsh, but if a chainring bolt is rubbing the metal off of a stay, its not just a noise, it is a mechanical interaction that surely was felt... in the OP's own words: "When I start rotating the crank it needs some serious force to get past a particular point." um, red flag! Stop the bike and repair - it would have taken 20 seconds with an allen wrench, and would have prevented all damage to the frame.

    things come loose with time. If one acknowledges this fact and prepares for it, then many headaches will be prevented before they spiral into the situations that ruin your new bike, your tour or a day's work.

    I honestly do not intend to be a jerk, and I hope rocky mountain will help you out. I have owned two of their frames, and they are a solid company. But I have issues with any sense of entitlement that you may feel you have, and that is why I spoke up in this post. It is people taking advantage of great return policies, generous companies, and warranty situations that lead to the loss of these great companies' profits and an erosion of consumer securities overall.



    well, perhaps you should?

    regards,
    positron
    Ok, I will stop and tighten the chain ring bolts every 60 miles.
    Never thought of that before.

    There was no way I could feel the resistance with my legs. My commute is 20km straight home on the highway. No stopping. And I was pushing into a 70-80kmh wind that day. Not a chance I would feel this with my legs let alone actually hear what was going on. On the repair stand spinning the crank with my hand was when I discovered this.
    And I have no sense of entitlement.
    And in no way am I taking advantage of anything. The bike has a year warranty for any defects which includes all parts. The bike was only $1500 + another $400-$500 for racks and bags (which can be moved to another bike regardless) so its not that big of a deal.
    It's a shame that whoever installed the crank forgot to tighten one bolt which then hacked up a beautiful frame.. My LBS said all other bolts were tight.
    I don't even know if Rocky will care about his problem or not. In the end I will be riding anyway.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    Positron, I really do see your point of view on this, but I'm not convinced.

    -is it the responsibility of a customer to check the chainrings on or before 400 miles or a month to check the chainring bolts on a new bike from a bike store? This is where I differ, I don't think it is (mind you, I don't know how long you should go, maybe 6 months or 1,000 miles, whichever comes first? And how would you check a bike has done that mileage anyway? If not 6 months or 1,000 miles, when should you check? After 5 miles? 2 minutes of riding? Then again, why let the manufacturer and/or LBS put the bike together if you need to check after a minute? But I digress... suffice to say I think there is some limit there somewhere and to me, assuming Ricohman is accurate, did not exceed it).

    -is it the responsibility of a manufacturer (regardless of whether they purchase 3rd party components) and bike store to provide a well setup and designed bike with components to a consumer that should remain operable without causing damage within a reasonable time under normal operation? Again, I think I differ; I consider a month of riding and/or 400 miles reasonable time -I say yes, the bike should be in reasonable order with no damage.

    -I do think you have a point that Ricohman should have stopped and checked the noise. But what if by the time he heard or noticed the noise it had done the damage already? And we don't know for sure that is the case or not, but we *do* know that the chainring bolt was not secure -something not the fault of Richman. And how do you identify a "bad" noise? Do you stop whenever you hear a noise on a bike? I've had an occasional spoke twang once..... So how do you know when not to? Or when to? Or when is it "surely felt"? And whom should that apply to? Wouldn't that then imply that you need an implicit mechanical knowledge and judgement? And if that's the case, shouldn't the manufacturer only allow the bike to be sold to people who are mechanically aware? I say it would be (probably) unreasonable to expect Ricohman to have stopped immediately given the age of the bike and the (probable) noise the catching was making (a reasonable supposition would have been the chain catching the front der, and then by the time it was realized it was not, would the damage have been done anyway?), let alone with surety being able to prove that doing so would have prevented any of the damage.

    Just thoughts.....



    Quote Originally Posted by positron View Post
    As a full time commuter, former messenger, and general carfree guy I have had too many bike parts fail (because of my negligence), leaving me stranded or without the ability to work. This has taught me to meticulously maintain my bike, not to ignore problem signs, and to carry a full tool kit with me nearly everywhere.

    I do not mean to be harsh, but if a chainring bolt is rubbing the metal off of a stay, its not just a noise, it is a mechanical interaction that surely was felt... in the OP's own words: "When I start rotating the crank it needs some serious force to get past a particular point." um, red flag! Stop the bike and repair - it would have taken 20 seconds with an allen wrench, and would have prevented all damage to the frame.

    things come loose with time. If one acknowledges this fact and prepares for it, then many headaches will be prevented before they spiral into the situations that ruin your new bike, your tour or a day's work.

    I honestly do not intend to be a jerk, and I hope rocky mountain will help you out. I have owned two of their frames, and they are a solid company. But I have issues with any sense of entitlement that you may feel you have, and that is why I spoke up in this post. It is people taking advantage of great return policies, generous companies, and warranty situations that lead to the loss of these great companies' profits and an erosion of consumer securities overall.



    well, perhaps you should?

    regards,
    positron

  18. #18
    Woof! venturi95's Avatar
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    In my opinion the OP is entitled to a new frame. The compenent manufacturer dropped the ball by letting the loose chainring bolt go out the factory door. The mechanic that assembled the bike didn't check the CR bolts. I have never had a CR bolt come loose. I never check them with any regularity, but they are always tight when I do. Always grease the CR bolt threads so the torque you apply is not being transfered to binding threads. The little forked tool for the backside of the shouldered nut is usually necessary.

  19. #19
    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    Well, the verdict is in.
    I called today as this spot is really starting to rust.
    Rocky doesn't care or couldn't be bothered about this. My LBS has actually contacted the guy who built the frame and he figured it wouldn't stress crack or break but again, no guarantee.
    The factory waranty is lifetime against breakage and 1 year for corrosion. But this complaint is not covered as Rocky considers this not a defect in any component.
    After I asked about the one year warranty I was asked if the crank set was still functional. Of course I said yes as the crank is unaffected.
    Rocky then told me that my LBS is at fault as they never checked all the crank bolts. Blame shifting. Although he did say "I hate to shift the blame..."
    I was also told to sand the rust and spray on some paint to control the rust. Just like my 25 year old Nishiki....
    I told them I would just continue to ride it as is. I'm still a bit pissed about this.
    I am leaning toward filing a small claims in my Provincial Court. At least then I will actually get to talk to somebody at the hearing as you need to be present or your plea is entered as guilty.

  20. #20
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    I was disappointed by the response you got from RMB. I just purchased a sherpa 30 this March
    and have about 700 miles on it now. I checked my chainring bolts as soon as I read your problem
    and they seem fine. I believe this was an assembly problem and not a maintenance issue. How many
    people check the tightness of the wheel nuts to a new car?
    Hope your enjoy your bike anyway.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    Really sorry to hear this. I think you've ended up with a tarnished and possibly problematic bike through no reasonable fault of your own. What is your bike store doing about this? What do they say? I really hope they pull through for you.

    I'm particularly interested to hear that Rocky Mountain say that the blame lies with them for not checking the chainring bolts (given the state of partial bike assembly from a manufacturer, I really wonder how many bike stores do this!)

    If you really believe you can get some compensation through small claims, go for it. Would be interested to hear who you put down as the responsible party though -the LBS or Rocky Mountain, or both?

  22. #22
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your problem. It sucks having a new bike that is damaged in some way - especially a touring bike since you want to be totally confident in it on tour.

    However, I can't help, but agree with Rocky Mountain that once that bike leaves the shop it really is your responsibility to keep it maintained. That means lubing, tightening and checking the bike regularly.

    I sympathize with you because I don't do this myself so I'd be in the same boat as you. However, not checking our bikes over doesn't make it someone else's fault.

    When I assembled my Thorn Sherpa I put a new shimano crankset on it and installed the pedals tightly with a long pedal wrench. On my first ride the pedal backed out and I ended up stripping the threads from that crank arm...so I was back at the LBS buying a new crank after 1 day on the road!

    Perhaps you can make a case that it was your LBS' fault for not assembling/inspecting the bike properly. I doubt you'll have any luck in court and it will cause you lots of time and aggravation. I wouldn't bother.

    If the you don't want to take a chance on the frame I'd suggest contacting Rocky Mountain and asking for a new frame at cost - maybe even see if they give you one below cost. That approach may net a different result and get you back on a bike at a low cost.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricohman View Post
    [/I][/B][/COLOR]

    I have never had chain ring bolts come loose on any new bike I've ever owned, or any I've built.
    fwiw I have, but I stopped going to the shop I bought that from (and really started accelerating my diy skillz such as they are...)

  24. #24
    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    My LBS actually called me at home today to sort some of this out. They are certain that they could get a new frame from Rocky should this frame fail. In spite of what I've been told by Rocky. I've been dealing with this shop since the early 80's and they are very good at what they do.
    If I do go ahead and write my statement of claim I would name Rocky on my letter. I have access to a ton of legal advice where I work so this is not a complicated process for me.
    That said, I will continue to ride this Sherpa for now, as it has only been on the road since May. I only have 2 tours planned this summer and both are under 1000km and close to home. One will be with my oldest boy for his 1st tour.
    I will not use this bike to do any lengthly or really loaded tours though. I will pull the Tubus racks off and use it for commuting and grocery runs. I'm not going to rely on it for my Ice Fields Parkway tour next summer.
    I will probably buy another new bike this winter. What make I do not know. But I am considering buying just the frame set and building it myself, right down to the wheels. But I do have 3 other vintage touring bikes ready to go.
    Like this vintage Trek 520.


    Or maybe my 84' Nishiki Continental that I just finished completely rebuilding. This is the third time around for this old bike. I bought it as a frame set only in 84'. This bike has the best wheels I've ever built. In a vintage sense!
    Last edited by ricohman; 06-14-08 at 06:55 AM.

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